Hour One is an Israel based start-up that creates AI-driven digital characters based on real people. It announced to have raised $5M in seed funding led by Galaxy Interactive (via its Galaxy EOS Fund), Kindred Ventures, Amaranthine, and Reimagine Ventures. The company will use these funds to expand commercially and scale its cloud platform and increase the production of more AI-driven synthetic characters. It currently has a team of 10 people with Oren Aharon as CEO and Lior Hakim as CTO.
Started just a year ago, Hour One uses Artificial Intelligence to create digital versions of real-life people. The idea is to use these digital versions to develop and help businesses communicate with their customers and increase engagement and sales. It turns text-based content into a video in which an AI-generated synthetic character speaks that text, making it more engaging, memorable, and meaningful. The AI-generated synthetic character is very similar to the real person, and according to the company, it’s a lifelike replica of that person. The company serves in many sectors like Human Resources, E-commerce, Education, real estate, etc.
According to Oren Aharon, Hour One’s CEO and founder, their vision is to use these synthetic characters to improve the quality of communication between people and businesses. This idea can save a lot of time and money as one can now use these synthetic characters for advertisements and promotions instead of live actors, especially in the present scenario of COVID-19.
With the benefits, there are challenges, such as ensuring that the technology is not being abused. To prevent this technology’s misuse, the company has an encrypted system and an ethical policy code to monitor the use of the technology and to protect and secure the rights of the characters.